Question 1: Do I need to buy an acoustic piano to take piano lessons?
While an in-tune, well-maintained acoustic piano is the best instrument to learn on, a high-quality digital piano is a cost-effective way to learn. Look for an instrument with "touch response" or "touch sensitivity" as well as "weighted keys." While touch responsive keys, the harder you hit the key, the louder it will sound, like a real piano does. Weighted key action is designed to provide more resistance than the standard keys of portable keyboards, which has little resistance and is similar to that of an organ. If an acoustic or digital piano is not available, you can study with an electric keyboard and still progress.
Question 2: How much do I (or does my child) need to practice?
We recommend that students practice for at least 15 minutes per day. We encourage older students (teens and adults) to practice for at least 30 minutes per day. Your instructor will provide you with a range of goal-oriented activities that will make your practice sessions productive, engaging, and fun! We offer an optional online log where students can track their progress, or you can print it out and bring it with you to your lessons, or you can simply keep track of your progress in a notebook.
Question 3: How long will it take me (or my child) to "be good?"
Music study is an on-going, individualized journey. With regular practice and dedication, you will progress. Since it is an individualized journey, there are no time limits; your instructor will guide you at your own pace. How long it takes you a master a certain skill depends on factors including age, previous musical experience, and the amount of practice. That being said, basic proficiency normally takes a few months, and you will be playing, singing, and learning music from your first lesson. We work with each student to pursue his or her own goals.
Question 4: Do students need to take lessons every week?
Like training for a marathon, music study takes time, conditioning, preparation, and practice. You need to train your mind and body to improve. We encourage you to commit to regular study, that being said, we understand the schedules may make weekly lessons difficult and can be flexible to meet our student's individual needs. Regular practice is key to success.
Question 5: Can I stay while my child takes his or her lesson?
Yes. We are happy to have you stay during lessons. We have tea, coffee, and WiFi available.
Question 6: How old should my child be when he or she starts lessons?
We recommend beginning traditional piano lessons typically no younger than second grade and voice typically no younger than middle school. This is based on cognitive development, physical development, and attention span. However, there are exceptions for individual students. We highly recommend group classes and children's choirs for young children. Early exposure to music education has significant, long-lasting benefits. See our "Music for Life" blog series for more about how music study benefits well-being for students of ALL ages. Or, check out this condensed version.
Question 7: I'm an adult and I always wanted to study music. Or I studied years ago, but haven't for years. Is it too late?
No! It's never too late for music. Music has significant, long-lasting benefits for students of all ages. See our "Music for Life" blog series for more about specific ways that music study benefits the well-being of students of all ages, or read the condensed version here.
Question 8: What does a student learn in composition, theory, computer music, songwriting, or music production lessons?
In composition, theory, computer music, songwriting, or music production lessons, the student learns how to use the language of music and the modern tool of the computer to create their own music. Music theory enables musicians to understand the structure and meaning behind a piece of music and gives the student the ability to better express their own unique voice fluently in the language of music. See our article, 10,000 Hours? Four Ways Music Theory Leads to Musical Mastery for more.
Question 9: Can't I (or my child) just learn from watching videos?
A teacher is a guide and coach who provides valuable feedback, encouragement, and expertise to each student that student's individual music journey. Read Why is a teacher better than a tutorial? for more.
Question 10: Do I have to come to the studio or can I take lessons online or in my home?
We offer online lessons via FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. You will cover the same material in online lessons as in-studio lessons. There may be some special cases that in-home lessons may be arranged, however, this is subject to availability.
Question 11: Why do I have to do all this work? I thought music was supposed to be "fun?"
Music is fun and rewarding, but it is also a discipline that requires effort, patience, consistency, and a lot of practice. Serious music lessons are not entertainment, and progress takes time to see. This is why keeping logs and goal sheets are such vital tools. They show you real-world evidence just how much you have learned. Music is a language, and you will become fluent with regular practice and with the guidance of an expert teacher. If you are looking for entertainment rather than education, there are plenty of apps, video games, and businesses that can give you a "star for the day" experience.
Question 12: How do we start?